14 March 1903

Reminded Him of the American Lady Smasher

Details of the domestic troubles of a respectable, youthful couple were related to the Ashton County Justices on Wednesday. The complainant, Agnes SIMPSON, was the daughter of a Daisy Nook farmer, and she summoned her husband, Harry SIMPSON, apprentice at a Denton works, for persistent cruelty. Mr T E GIBSON appeared for the complainant, and Mr A LEES was for the defendant.

Mr GIBSON said the parties in the case were married on February 15th, 1902, and there was issue of the marriage one child, and the complainant was again pregnant. They at first went to live with the wife’s parents at Daisy Nook, and in September last they went to live at Droylsden.

On Saturday night, January 3rd, defendant returned home about six o’clock the worse for drink. He said he had been to a football match, and then commenced cursing. He hit her and knocked her about, and then got hold of her round the shoulders and dragged her to the front door and threw her violently out into the street. He threw her shawl out after her and then shut the door. Since that time he had sent the sum of 3s for the support of the child, and told her in the presence of others that he would contribute nothing to her, and that she would have to keep herself.

Owing to her delicate state of health she was unable to work, and at present, she was living with her parents. In November last defendant threatened to cut his wife’s throat with a razor, and owing to his frequent threats and violence, her life had been unbearable and she was afraid to live with him. It was a painful case, and in view of defendant’s past treatment of his wife, it might become even more infinitely painful and even tragical were she to live any longer with him. He therefore asked for a separation order, with a contribution towards the maintenance of the child.

The complainant, Agnes SIMPSON, corroborated the previous statement, and said the marriage took place at Holy Trinity Church, Bardsley. They at first lived with her parents at a farm at Daisy Nook, and subsequently went to live in Albert-street, Droylsden. The last time her husband ill used her was on January 3rd. He was in a bad temper and got hold of her and tried to drag her outside the house. He turned her out, and she went to live with her parents at Daisy Nook.

He had told her many a time he would lead her nothing but a miserable life. He smacked her in the face a month before her baby was born. On November 8th he came home drunk and could hardly stand and had to go to bed. When she went to bed he started using bad language, and got up and went downstairs for a razor, saying he would cut both their throats. When he went downstairs she fastened the bedroom door, and on his return he commenced making a noise at the door, and she opened it after a time and stepped back into the room. He got hold of her and she commenced screaming, and he again began to use bad language. Just before Christmas he tried to strangle her.

By Mr LEES: She would be 23 years of age in May, and her husband would be 22 in June. She left home on one occasion before marriage, and she returned in the intercession of her husband. She had been in the habit of getting up every morning to prepare his breakfast. Nearly every Saturday he had been in the habit of going to a football match and coming home drunk. The reason she was not clean and tidy until after 6 o’clock one day was that the water was turned off and she could not wash herself. She had never lifted up a chair to throw at her husband.

Mrs LOMAS, wife of John LOMAS, farmer, Daisy Nook, said plaintiff was her daughter. On the day the husband was stated to have turned out her out the daughter came home crying, and she had been under a doctor ever since. Witness went for her clothes, and defendant helped her to pack them up. He told witness that he had tried to set the bed on fire, and that his wife had dragged it out of him when he went for a razor. Whilst they lived with witness defendant broke a number of pots one night.

Mr LEES submitted that complainant had failed to make out her case satisfactorily because she had not proved that the acts committed were such as to injure her bodily or that injury to health had accrued. The complainant was a strong, hearty young woman. It was a trivial case. They were both young people, and scarcely knew their own minds.

The defendant, Harry SIMPSON, said he had not taken drink to the excess that the wife and witnesses had stated. He had never been the worse for drink since marriage. He was a beer drinker, and never drank more than four or five glasses. He performed several domestic duties whilst his wife was sitting in front of the fire reading a novel.

One day after returning from a football match he was sitting in front of the fire smoking when his wife, who should have been ready for going shopping, came walking in in her dirt. The water had been turned off as stated, but he washed himself. He told his wife that she reminded him of a woman in America called the lady smasher. – (Laughter.) She picked up a chair, and he got hold of her to throw her out. He did not strike her.

By Mr GIBSON: He had not told his wife repeatedly that he would make her life miserable. She asked him to throw her out, and he threw her out. – (Laughter.) He did not hurt her. After what she had done he thought it her place to come and humble to him instead of his humbling to her. He did not get up in the middle of the night and tell her he was fetching a razor.

The magistrates granted a separation order, the wife to have the custody of the child, and the husband to contribute 6s per week maintenance.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY. – Archibald DEVART was in the dock charged with being drunk and disorderly in Bow-street on the 7th inst. He pleaded guilty. He had been up six times. – The Chairman: You are not as decent a man as your father was. – Defendant: My father lived in Ashton 50 years and never was up. – The Clerk: That is what the Chairman is saying. – Fined 5s 6d and costs. – Emily SHEA was similarly dealt with for being drunk and disorderly in Brook-street on the 28th ult. She did not appear, but was represented by a woman who pleaded guilty, but said the defendant’s mother and sisters knocked her dazeless.

ALL ABOUT THE BABY. – Eliza Ann KEMP summoned Susannah POTTER for assaulting her on the 28th February. Defendant pleaded guilty to hitting her, but she was struck first. – Complainant said she was in the house when the defendant came in with a baby eight months old, the child of a neighbour. She took the child and in a playful way said, “You little gallus.” – (Laughter.) The defendant went and told the mother. The following day defendant came into her house and struck her. – Defendant: Did you not say the child was born for the gallows? – Complainant: No. – Didn’t I tell you that you ought to be ashamed of talking like that about a child eight months old? No.

Mary Ann RIGG said the defendant smacked the complainant several times, and Mrs KEMP did not lift her head. – The mother of the child was called and said it was her who struck the complainant for saying that about her baby. – The Clerk (to the defendant): Why did you go and tell the mother what the complainant had said. Because I thought it my duty to do so. – If you had not done so there would not have been any bother. – The Chairman said the remark might have been made innocently and without any evil meaning about it. Defendant went and committed a deliberate assault, and she must pay 5s 6d and costs, or 14 days.

AN UNPROVOKED ASSAULT. – Sarah CLEMENTS summoned Squire LOWNDES for assaulting on the 28th February. He pleaded not guilty. – Complainant stated that a week on Saturday night, she was at the corner of Fleet-street and Delamere-street when she saw the defendant and his brother Sammy. The latter was drunk and Squire was taking him home. Defendant began to kick Sammy, and she called out, “Oh, Squire, don’t kick him like that.” Defendant came across the street to her, struck her, and knocked her head against the wall, at the same time calling her some horrible names.

Mrs PRESTON was called, and proved the assault, as did also Samuel CLEMENTS, husband of the complainant. After he had struck her, witness spoke to him, and he turned upon him saying, “You monkey. I will hit you,” at the same time striking him. – Defendant said he was taking his brother home because he had a drop of “summat sup.” – Chief Constable said defendant had been up before for a breach of the peace. – The Bench fined defendant 5s 6d and costs, or 14 days, and allowed the witness, Samuel CLEMENTS, 2s 6d, and Mrs PRESTON 1s 6d. – Defendant: Sammy half a crown! Why, he does no work a’ day o’ week.

Magisterial Advice to License Holders

At a special police court on Monday morning at Dukinfield, before Alderman C H BOOTH and Mr W UNDERWOOD, six men named John IRELAND, Michael BROWN, Francis GALLAGHER, Thomas BURNS, Thomas O’MALLEY, and Thomas DORAN, labourers on the new tramway, were charged with being drunk and disorderly in Pickford-lane, on the 7th inst.

Superintendent CROGHAN called Mr Edward BROOKES, who said he was the licensee of the Angel Hotel, King-street. The prisoners came into the house on Saturday about 12 o’clock noon. – Were they all drunk? No, not that much. – They were not in a state to be served? I refused to serve them, and they kicked up a bit of bother. I have nothing against the men at all. – Just simply answer the questions. Did you request them to leave? Yes. – And did they refuse? I requested them to leave after refusing them drink. – Did they create a disturbance? They made a bit of bother. – Was a window broken? A window was broken in the scuffle.

Mr BOOTH: What you have got to do is to speak the truth. Were they in a condition fit to be served? They had some drink, true enough. – And in consequence they became noisy and you asked them to go? Yes. – Superintendent CROGHAN: Did you send for the police? They had gone out when the police came. – Did you send for the police? Yes. – They did not go out when you asked them, and you sent for the police? Yes. – Mr BOOTH: The window would not have been broken if the men had not been misbehaving themselves? No.

In reply to BROWN witness said he did not consider him to be drunk at all. He helped him to get the other men out of the house. – GALLAGHER said he had three pints in the house and walked quietly out. – DORAN said he only had a small port. – Mr BOOTH: Did you send for the police before they went out? – Mr BROOKES: Just as they were going out. – Mr UNDERWOOD: Do you say that whatever trouble occurred with these men took place after they went out of your house? Yes.

Mr BOOTH: Did you send for the police before they left the house? They were out then. – But you sent for the police in the first instance because they were creating a row in the house, is that it! – Yes. – Superintendent CROGHAN: Were they kicking up a bother in the street? They were larking – just playing.

Sergeant YOUNG was the next witness. He stated that at 1.30 he was on duty in King-street, and his attention was called to the prisoners fighting one amongst the other. They turned up Pickford-lane. He got the assistance of Acting-sergeant JACKSON and Constable GREEN, and they got them into the police station. Their conduct created great excitement and alarm amongst the residents in the lane.

Superintendent CROGHAN: Did Mr BROOKES send on King-street for the police to turn out these men? Yes. – Acting-sergeant JACKSON corroborated, and said the prisoners were staggering about the road. They were all more or less drunk.

Mr BOOTH, addressing the prisoners, told them they did not live in Dukinfield. They came and went to different place, but because they happened to be there temporarily they were not going to have Dukinfield apart by such men as they. There was no doubt their class of men were very much too fond of their drink. If they would only save the money they earned instead of spending it as they did in drink, they would be better off. They got, if not absolutely drunk, fighting drunk, and quarrelling one with another.

They would be a great deal better without drink than with, because they apparently could not control themselves. There was nothing known against them, and they would be leniently dealt with – 2s 6d each and costs or seven days’ hard labour.

Superintendent CROGHAN: With reference to the licensee, I think it was only fair to bring him here this morning. The prisoners alleged that whatever drink they had was obtained at the Angel Hotel. He has now just stated that they were refused drink. – Mr BROOKES: Yes, after I noticed their condition and they wanted more. – Superintendent CROGHAN: He stated they had no drink, and the Bench have this morning heard him try and sit on the fence.

Mr BOOTH: One can understand the licensee not caring to be brought into a case, but I think it is the duty of the licensee where people are behaving as these men were to send for the police. It is also his duty to assist the police by giving evidence when the case comes before the court. I hope not only Mr BROOKES, but all licensees in the borough of Dukinfield, will call in the assistance of the police to help them to remove disorderly characters from their houses.

They ought to feel it is their bounden duty to assist the police by giving evidence in order to enable the magistrates to come to a proper decision in cases of this kind. That is why I say no doubt Mr BROOKES does not care about coming here, thinking, no doubt, it might injure his business. I was going to say that was a silly idea, but I won’t say that, but I sat it is an erroneous idea to think his business will suffer from what he ought to do in the proper conduct of it.

I hope license holders would carefully consider these observations with regard to the police assisting them in the proper conduct of their houses, and they in turn assisting the police in proving any cases that may occur. – Superintendent CROGHN: I thank your worship for your remarks. – Mr BOOTH (to the prisoners): You keep off drink and save your money. – The prisoners were then removed.

Said He Would Drown Himself: No One to Stop Him

The body of a man unknown was taken out of the canal at Bardsley at 8.40 on Saturday night. The following is the description furnished by the police:- Age about 60, height 5ft 4in, well built, complexion sallow, hair and moustache grey, dressed in dark navy blue jacket and vest, brown cloth trousers, strong laced shoes, left hand contracted, red and blue cotton striped shirt, blue cotton undershirt, red waist belt, and had a joiner’s nail punch and blacklead pencil in pockets.

The body was afterwards identified as George DARLINGTON, joiner, residing at 7 Derwent-street, Oldham. The inquest was held at the Dog and Pheasant, Waterloo, on Tuesday forenoon, by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.

William DARLINGTON, ironmonger, 45 Derwent-street, off Greenacres-road, said the deceased was his father and was 59 years of age last birthday. Witness last saw him alive on Friday night at his own home about 10.30pm. During the time witness was there a quarrel took place. Deceased had been out of work for some time, and the younger son had been interfering and telling the father that he must go away. The father said he would go away, and told the family he would find them a dirty job.

Witness said he was not surprised at what he had done. Deceased was very much upset, but witness did not think at the time that he intended to make away with himself. Deceased left the house on Friday night about 11.30, and did not return again. Two of his sons, however, saw him in the street on the Saturday and gave him some money. Both the mother and the younger son had told deceased that he would have to go away.

The Coroner: Why? Witness: I suppose because they did not feel that they could keep him. – The Coroner: Why should he be turned away when a younger son was out of work too? Witness: That’s what I said at the time. The son should have been glad that he had a home to go to. He had not a leg to stand upon. – By a juryman: Deceased must have stayed over night at a lodging-house. Witness was not there when deceased left home. – By the Coroner: Witness could not say whether deceased left the house of his own accord.

George DARLINGTON, wood turner, 8 Farm-street, Oldham, said deceased was his father, and he last saw him alive on Saturday at 1pm at the Royal Oak Inn. They had had a few words on the previous night, and deceased was commenting upon them. The bother was on account of deceased returning home after a lengthy absence, and saying he would turn over a new leaf if they would receive him. One of the brothers, who himself was out of work, began interfering, and causing some bother, and witness told him he should be the last to speak as he was in a similar position himself. The result of it was that deceased was told to go away.

Deceased seemed depressed, and told witness that he would find them a dirty job, and that they would find him before Tuesday. He said they must not call him names for doing it. Witness did not take him seriously, as he never thought a man like him would do such a thing. Deceased had been working in different parts of the country during the past four or five years and had been absent from home during that time.

Jos. FIELDHOUSE, lamplighter, 292 Oldham-road, Bardsley, said that at 6.45 on Saturday evening, he had just finished lighting the lamps when he met deceased in Bardsley Brow, coming from the direction of Oldham. He was on the opposite side of the road, and he came across to witness and asked which was the way to the canal. Witness asked him which part of the canal he wanted, and he said the part which led to the crime. He added, “I’m going to drown myself,” and said he had trouble on his mind. Witness said he was a very foolish man to think of such a thing.

Deceased smelled of beer, but he was not drunk. Witness was on the point of leaving, when deceased turned round and said, “Will you shake hands with me?” “Certainly,” replied witness, “I’ll shake hands with you.” Deceased then walked away, and witness told some boys in the road to “watch that man as he said he would drown himself.”

The Coroner: I never heard of a sillier thing in my life than to leave a man 40 or 50 yards from the canal who said he was going to drown himself. – Witness: I could not have stopped him. – The Coroner: You allowed him to go and drown himself? I didn’t think he would do such a thing. – It doesn’t matter what you think. The man would have been alive now if you had watched him. – Witness: I told a girl and some boys. They were younger than me, and I thought they would be able to get down to him. – Didn’t you see him again? No; I didn’t see him until Sunday when I recognized him as the same man.

A Juryman: Didn’t you stop at all after he told you? No. I had left two lamps in a street, and they grumble if I leave them. The Foreman (Mr HIBBERT): Didn’t your conscience prick you when you were going up the brow? I didn’t think he was going to do such a thing. He said “just give me a shake of your hand,” and went away smiling and putting his pipe in his pocket. – Foreman: I think you ought to have kept him in conversation until someone else came.

Witness: I had my own work to do; I could not do it. – The Coroner: Would your own work stop you? If I had stopped he would perhaps have pulled me in; you cannot tell what they are going to do. – The Coroner: Perhaps it would have done you good if he had done. If a man told me within thirty yards of the canal that he was going to drown himself, I should want to watch him.

Witness: I almost wish I had done in a sense, but when you are on your own work. – The Coroner: Which is most important, your own work or preventing a man from drowning himself? I think it would have been no use, as I could not have stopped him. – The Coroner: I should have had a try, at any rate. – A juryman: He evidently thinks more about his work than most people do.

Clara SAXON, living in Woodpark-road, Bardsley, said about five minutes to seven on Saturday night she met the last witness on the canal bridge at Bardsley. He said there was a man going to the canal side to drown himself. Witness ran across to the other side of the road and looked over the wall and saw a man jump from the bank into the canal. It was not dark, and witness could just discern him. She ran and broke the glass in connection with the rescuing apparatus, and in the meantime the man had disappeared. She remained on the spot for about a quarter of an hour.

The Coroner: Did FIELDHOUSE seem a bit frightened? He seemed a bit nervous. – The Foreman: Where was he when you saw him? He was only about 100 yards from the water. – Probably he thought you better able to save the man’s life than himself? I did not think anything about it at the time.

Constable POLLARD, stationed at Waterloo, said that on Saturday night information came to the police office that a man had thrown himself into the canal. Witness went to the Bardsley canal and commenced with grappling irons, and retrieved the body at 8.40pm. Life was then extinct.

The jury returned a verdict of suicide, there being no evidence to show the state of the man’s mind.

Information was received at the Ashton Police Station at 11.42 on Tuesday night that a fire had broken out at the shop of Mr Thomas SIZER, pawnbroker, 27 and 29 Victoria-street, Ashton. The fire alarm bells were rung, and such was the activity of the fire brigade that in the short space of three minutes the float with a contingent of firemen were on their way to the fire.

On their arrival the fire was found to be in the pledge office on the ground floor at the rear of the building. The office was stocked with clothing, which by some means had got on fire. A jet of water was got to work from a main in Margaret-street, and after working for a few minutes the fire was extinguished. Considerable damage was done to the clothing by the fire, the origin of which is at present unknown.

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